Surprise Birthday: The Return of David Mansfield

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This is a continuation of the story started in Celebrity For a Night from October 24th of 2008. As a refresher, that night BostonSOS improveratti ascended on club Felt in with the intent to give one person a fun, spontaneous night they'd never forget... by turning them into a celebrity.

Prelude

Two of our best performers (Rachel S and Cara T) were instructed to find a single guy at the bar who seemed friendly, polite, and didn't show any obvious signs of crazy. Outside, the group developed a backstory of who exactly our fake celebrity was. We made up his acting name (David Mansfield) and his previous work (cancelled soap opera, Passions) as well as other details vague enough that no one would question us. Once Cara and Rachel found our leading man (a six-foot three-inch friendly giant) we nonchalantly entered the bar in twos and started spreading the word that there was a celebrity there. Over the course of the evening we (and others) approached him for his autograph, pictures, and stories about what life is like on the set. Rachel was able to get a phone number out of him, and we vanished into the night, seemingly never to be seen or heard from again. For all the details, read the original Celebrity For a Night recap.

The Return

Just shy of one year later we sent him a text message explaining the president of his fanclub was arranging our monthly meeting and would be honored if he would drop in for a Q&A. "Has it been a year already?" he txt'd back, and agreed to meet. Obviously, he knew something was up, so we couldn't play the same game we did before. We wanted to surprise him- and what better way than a surprise birthday party‽ Surely he wouldn't see that coming- especially since it wasn't his birthday. We didn't even know his real name, but by googling the email address we got out of him we were able to find out his favorite music (which would become the party soundtrack) and his favorite softdrink (the only non-alcoholic beverage served...)

He and his date showed up at the given address to discover a dark room, and then...

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We joyously sang Happy Birthday with live musical accompaniment as we crowned our guest the birthday king.

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Flowers for our favorite celebrity:

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We all had questions we were dieing to ask him- like what it was like to work with certain celebrities and what his most difficult scene to perform was. Now it wasn't just us improvising- this guy was pulling stuff out the air with confidence and detail. He had an answer for everything we could throw at him- that is when he was allowed to answer; some of his questions were intercepted by his date, who introduced herself as his "agent". She was effective too- when we asked if he was dating anybody she was quick to respond, "David Mansfield is single and keeping his options open right now."

She also expressed concern over the quality and safety of the foods he was being served and demanded she test everything before it was given to him. So... bring out the cake!

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We didn't know how old he was but since he's a fictional celebrity we decided to simply make up an age- 28.

Mansfield graciously posed for pictures with all his fans. Who could forget his moving role in the 1996 film, 'Original Gangstas'?

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Of course, what's a birthday party without a bunch of gifts?

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What's a birthday party without Pin the Tail on the Donkey and a Pinata?

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The lovely female pictured below played "the obsessed one" (think Fatal Attraction), and tried to win Mr. Mansfield's love with a suggestive hoop dance.

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And as if it couldn't get any more surreal...

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...it did.

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Once again, throughout the night everyone remained true to character. Here's a note from Jess:

At the end of the evening, I left the party at the same time as David Mansfield and his Agent.  When the three of us got outside on the front steps, David’s agent turned to me and said:

“So can we be serious for a moment?”

I looked at her confused, “Serious about what?”

She sighed, and reluctantly continued to play along. “Well, David and I have to catch a plane back to L.A. at 8am tomorrow morning, so I think we’re gonna take off.”

Then we shook hands and parted ways.

Most of the group near the end of the night:

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Postlude

A few months after the party (and 14 months since we initially met him) we decided it was time to meet the REAL David Mansfield. We contacted Mr. Mansfield one last time- this time simply to take him out to lunch and say thanks for being a great sport. We finally learned his real name, and for the first time ever he got to meet with us out of character. As suspected he enjoyed our get-togethers, but he says we might have freaked out his "agent" a little bit. He's a pretty chill (and ridiculously tall) guy and he says he just may just show up for the No Pants Subway Ride. So if you want a chance to see THE David Mansfield sans-pants, or get your own autographed photo of the dashing fellow, make sure you show up as well.

Thanks, "David"!

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See the complete photoset by Zach Armstrong